With back-to-school, retailers often think about what younger school-aged kids might need. David McConnell, president and chief executive officer of Global Market Development Center, Colorado Springs, points out that college students are back-to-school shoppers as well. This student demographic gives supermarket retailers another marketing opportunity to boost sales throughout the store.
“We've even seen in some of our data some opportunities in skin care and beauty care particularly for those kids going off to college — even acne products jump in that time frame as kids are getting ready to go back to school. They're going back to see their friends, they want to look good, they want to feel good about themselves, so beauty or skin care products, you could integrate into that back-to-school set if you want to create some extra awareness for the consumer,” McConnell told SN.
Besides HBC cross-promotional opportunities, retailers can also cross-promote with housewares for kids moving away for college.
“We've seen some retailers who have gotten a little more aggressive in college marketing, not just the stores in the markets where they have colleges but in the stores where the demographics lend itself. Kids are going back to college, so they're looking for some smaller things, maybe some small knockdown furniture, or small fridges, little microwaves, toaster ovens, box fans, milk crates, alarm clocks, some personal care items, beauty care stuff, and they're getting some lift.
“Is it risky? Perhaps, but it all gets back to you have to know your customer base. If you're in a market where the schools put out a lot of good college students and kids moving to the next level, why not take advantage of these step-up opportunities.”